Monday, April 11, 2011
the list #1459
funerals are never fun.
that is, unless you're in our family, where we have a knack for turning even the most inappropriate and solemn occasions into a bearable (if not hilarious) happening.
years ago our family attended a wake for a family friend that only my parents knew. my two younger brothers and i stood with our parents, not really knowing anyone else in attendance. eventually beth's family showed up as well and all of us kids huddled together uneasily. at this point in our lives we hadn't attended many wakes or funerals, and we were all feeling a bit uneasy and out of place. we followed our parents up to the casket where they paid their last respects, then stood talking to a bunch of old people we didn't know. grown-ups. sheeeesh.
one thing that was really weirding out us kids was the fact that the man in the casket had sunglasses on. i'm sure we made some inappropriate jokes about roy orbison. whatever the case, we could not take our eyes off him.
the man whose father was in the casket walked up to our family. us kids knew him only vaguely, and hadn't seen him in quite some time.
"mike, shake his hand!" our mom encouraged. a look of abject horror spread across his face. mike looked at my mom with an expression that said, "if you really love me, you won't make me do it." the man extended his hand. our mom nudged mike in the shoulder. mike took his hand and shook it in return.
later on, my mom asked my brother why he didn't want to shake the man's hand.
"i thought you were talking about the guy in the casket!" mike exclaimed, clearly relieved to find out he was sorely mistaken.
there was also the time our two families were at the funeral home listening to a priest give the eulogy. we were already delighted that he looked like a monk rather than a priest, but then beth and i were apparently the only ones who noticed him burp in the middle of his eulogy and contine talking as if nothing happened.
holding back laughter when it's completely inappropriate to do so is one of our specialties.
and of course, whenever the topic of funerals arises, i can't help but think of the time beth busted out with this gem seemingly out of nowhere: "i liked your grandma's funeral the most because they had some really good bakery!" (list #2560)
glad to see you have your priorities in perspective, cousin!